This paper investigates energy harvesting from arterial blood pressure via the piezoelectric effect for the purpose of powering embedded micro-sensors in the brain. Blood flow is highly dynamic and arterial blood pressure varies, in the average human blood vessel, from 120 mm of Hg to 80 mm of Hg and we look at transduction of this pressure variation to electric energy via the piezoelectric effect. We propose two different geometries for this purpose. Initially, we look at the energy harvested by a cylinder, coated with PVDF (Polyvinylidene fluoride) patches, placed inside an artery acted upon by blood pressure. The arrangement is similar to that of a stent which is a cylinder placed in veins and arteries to prevent obstruction in blood flow. The governing equations of the harvester are obtained using Hamilton’s principle. Pressure acting in arteries is radially directed and this is used to simplify the governing equations. Specifically, radial pressure directed on the inner wall of the cylinder is assumed to excite only the radial breathing mode of vibration. Using this, the transfer function relating pressure to the induced voltage across the surface of the harvester is derived and the power harvested by the cylindrical harvester is obtained for different shunt resistances.

However, the natural frequency of the radial breathing mode (RBM) is found to be very high and the harvested power at the frequencies of interest (3 Hz – 20 Hz) is very low. To decrease the natural frequency, we propose a novel streaked cylinder design that involves cutting the cylinder along the length, transforming it to a curved beam with an opening angle of 360 deg.. The governing equations corresponding to a circular curved beam, with PVDF patches on top and bottom surfaces, are derived using Hamilton’s principle and modal analysis is used to obtain the transfer function relating radial pressure to induced voltage. We validate the derived transfer function by evaluating the harvested power for a beam with very large radius of curvature; in which case, the curved beam becomes a straight beam and the harvested power is compared with the same for a straight beam (which exists in the literature). Further, we conduct design analyses and obtain the power as the geometric parameters of the harvester are varied for the purpose of optimizing the dimensions of harvester for maximal power generation. The power harvested by the harvester, at lower frequencies is deemed to be satisfactory.

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